Solar Firm 1366 Technologies Commences Operations

Startup firm 1366 Technologies has secured $12.4 million in a first round of financing co-led by North Bridge Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners.

Ely Sachs, a professor at MIT and founder and chief technology officer of 1366, says 1366 Technologies will combine innovations in silicon-cell architecture with manufacturing-process improvements to bring multicrystalline silicon solar cells to cost parity with coal-based electricity.

‘The science is understood, the raw materials are abundant and the products work,’ he comments. ‘All that is left to do is innovate in manufacturing and scale up volume production – and that's just what we intend to do.’ The company has occupied space in Lexington, Mass., to build its pilot solar cell manufacturing facility.

1366 Technologies' roadmap includes a new cell architecture that uses innovative, low-cost fabrication methods to increase the efficiency of multicrystalline solar cells. This architecture, developed at MIT, improves surface texture and metallization to enhance silicon solar cell efficiency while lowering costs. The company says it will partner with solar companies and government agencies, licensing its technology to accelerate the ongoing global transition to solar. In addition, the company plans to build industrial, 100 MW plants around the world.

‘Once the pilot plant has proven itself, we'll work with governments and energy agencies worldwide to build a string of factories,’ says Carmichael Roberts, general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners, who is joining 1366 Technologies' board of directors as chairman. Also joining the board is Bob Metcalfe, general partner at Polaris Venture Partners.

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